When do i need home insurance when buying a house?
You’ve finally found your dream home and you have worked very hard for it. Buying the property may have been an expensive process with some serious financial commitment, but you’ve done it! You’ve moved in and it all looks great.
So what if something were to go wrong? Stormy weather damages the roof or windows or causes a flood? There’s an electrical problem which causes a fire? Suddenly you find yourself not only paying off a mortgage but having to find money for repairs, maybe even having to pay for temporary accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable. Not only that, what if your home gets broken into and robbed? Can you afford to replace your TV, laptop or jewellery collection?
Whether you have just purchased a dainty one bedroom flat or your dream family home, if something were to happen to it, the hurt and frustration would be just the same.
For most of us these days, money is tight, especially when you’ve just purchased a house. The costs that be brought on if something were to happen to your home could put you in a difficult position. So the idea behind home insurance is the same as any other insurance, for a monthly fee, the amount depending on how much coverage you want, you can protect your home and your possessions.
Which type of home insurance should I get?
Home insurance is generally divided into two types: buildings insurance and contents insurance.
Building insurance is to do with the structure of your home. You should generally take out enough insurance to rebuild your home, for example, if your house were to be burned down you want to make sure the insurance would pay for it to be rebuilt. Buildings insurance will cover things such as the roof, walls and windows and generally includes permanent fixtures such as a fitted kitchen or bathroom. The specifics of the insurance policy will vary depending on the insurer you choose, but they should all cover your home in case of fire, flooding, storm damage, burst water pipes and damage caused by fallen trees. There are often extra options for an additional premium, the most popular being for accidental damage or legal expenses cover.
Once you have covered your home it’s time to protect the things in it. It is important to remember that the contents of your house may be more than you think. According to research by Criterion Loss Adjusters Ltd, the cost of replacing the contents from an average British home stands at around £55,000! For peace of mind, those possessions are definitely worth protecting. Walk through your house, room by room and make an inventory of your belongings. Include everything, furniture, jewellery, computers, even the contents of your garden shed! Include, anything that you would take with you if you were to move house possibly even the carpets! Calculate your estimated cost and make sure your policy will cover enough to help you replace anything that could be stolen or damaged.
With both buildings and contents insurance it’s important to know exactly how you are covered. With building insurance for example, most policies won’t pay out for things like wear and tear. Plus if your home isn’t lived in for more than 30 days of the year it might invalidate your policy, but there are specific types of cover available for those who are away from home for longer periods of time. If you live in a listed building, have a thatched roof, or your house is slightly more unusual and perhaps not standard construction, you will need a more specialist home insurance.
With contents insurance, some insurers limit the amount they will pay on a single item. If you’ve insured an item that’s worth £2,000 but the insurer will only pay out £1,000 on a single item, then you could end up a grand short. Also an important note, contents insurance is also often done on a new for old basis, for example, if your TV gets damaged and its 10 years old, the insurance might only pay out for its current value, not how much it was worth when it was new. With quite a few conditions, when it comes to house insurance, it’s definitely worth reading the small print!
Where do I find the right home insurance?
The easiest way to compare home insurance is definitely online. There are plenty of comparison sites available, that can offer you the best quote for the policy you want, and you can usually add any extras simply by clicking the relevant boxes to see how they affect your price, or of course you can also contact specific insurers directly to see what they can offer you. Remember when protecting your home it is important to be completely honest about the value of your house and the things inside it, if you don’t provide important information you could risk invalidating your insurance and finding yourself with no cover when something goes wrong. Having home insurance isn’t a legal requirement but it is highly recommended! Hopefully you will never have to use it but it will be a comfort knowing your beautiful home is safe, just in case.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article ‘When do i need home insurance when buying a house?’. What type of home insurance have you had? do you have any tips that can help people in a similar situation? Please leave a comment.